The old saying ‘live and learn’ helps us avoid repeating mistakes. That works for many parts of life from where to buy common household items to which brands we like and use. Travel by ship is travel made easy as floating hotels have the ability to take us around the world in comfort. Still, it is amazingly easy to overlook some critical parts of travel; embarrassing cruise mistakes that are easy to avoid, just by reading this.
Large Humans Might Not Fit In Upper Berths
While the idea of a discounted price for third and/or fourth guests sharing the same stateroom might sound good at home, on the ship that can be quite another case. Upper berths have a weight restriction of 250 pounds. The top of that bed is 27” below the cabin ceiling and passengers will have to climb a ladder to get into it.
This is one I stumbled across on a cruise embarkation day years ago. Trying to get into a stateroom rated to accommodate four people were four larger ladies. Only two of them could get through the doorway and there was no way any would fit into the two upper berths in that stateroom.
No, Not Everything Is Included
To say that a cruise vacation is inclusive ‘by nature’ is accurate, compared to land travel where nothing is. But to blindly assume that the cruise fare pays for the lion’s share of expense is not entirely accurate. Worst case: The end of the cruise comes around and a surprising bill appears.
Avoid this embarrassing cruise mistake by checking onboard spending accounts every couple of days. There might be errors on your account that can be fixed far easier any other time than the day you get off the ship. To be sure there is no post-cruise debt lingering around, many cruise travelers set up a cash account just for this reason.
Debit Or Credit, Be Sure The Funds Available
Speaking of shipboard accounts, the cruises line will want a debit or credit card to guarantee onboard purchases that are not included in the cruise fare. Each day, they will place a hold on funds they believe you will need to have available to pay for purchases made by the end of the cruise.
The critical cruise mistake here is not allowing for other charges that might be made on that debit or credit card. Daily holds can often use up daily credit limits travelers may not know they have. Such was the case on a cruise we were enjoying many years ago, right up until the time that we were summoned to the Purser’s Desk. Told ‘the preauthorization we tried to run on your card was declined. How would you like to handle this?’
The easy fix, using either a debit or credit card:
- Be sure the bank knows you are on a cruise before leaving home. Otherwise they might think someone has stolen your card since you live in Kansas and a charge from your cruise line came through from Miami.
- For the same reason, notify your bank of the countries to be visited on your cruise.
- Play it safe: bring more than one card along
Perhaps you too have seen or made some embarrassing cruise mistakes that will probably not be repeated. Share those with us here!
Chris Owen shares frank, inside information about cruise vacations on ChrisCruises.com.